Shelter is my guiding word for this year. It is a non-striving word. A shelter offers refuge, provides safety, and embraces calm and quiet.
We are at the time of year when Shelter and Cosy perfectly merge.
I prefer cosy with an S, the British spelling, versus cozy with a Z, which doesn’t seem quite as, well, soft and cosy.
To my mind, the British invented cosy. Perhaps this comes from the many mysteries and gothic romances set in England that I read as a teen. Log fires, pots of hot tea and buttered scones, and endless snowy weather. In any event, I have given a lot of time and thought to the subject of Cosy.
For me, that S stands for Shawl. This is the time of year when I pull out a shawl or sweater to warm my perpetually chilly arms and shoulders. However, it doesn’t stand for Socks as I don’t like my feet to be hot and simply wear spa slippers at home.
Everyone has their own idea of Ultimate Cosy. Warm and cuddly robes and flannel pajamas, buried under blankets, sipping a warm drink and watching heartwarming movies. It’s easy to develop a cosy state of mind through quiet times, easy reading, and journaling the grey winter days away. Lots of napping and simple indoor projects are in order as well.
I do not ever feel the least bit guilty that I am not outside participating in some dangerous winter sport that involves boots and ski poles. The closest I want to get to winter weather is looking at snow falling through the living room windows.
Cosy time is also a good time for a tech sabbath. Time instead of scrolling to reread a favorite Dickens novel. Pick up a cosy mystery. Start an art journal. Clean out files. Buy and set up my calendar for the coming year. Do a little bit of decluttering. (A head start on Spring Cleaning?)
On a clear, sunny day, I will leave my cocoon and visit a neighborhood coffee shop and indulge in a chai tea latte and a baked treat. While sipping, I can daydream about cosy adventures for the rest of the season.
As a safety measure, I no longer have candles in my house, but do enjoy the warm glow of battery-operated ones. They certainly enhance a cosy atmosphere and leave no mess.
And I can’t forget cosy crafting. Handmade crafts feed the soul. They keep us human and keep us useful. I am more of a watercolor and collage and art journal maker, but there is also knitting, needlepoint or embroidery. What could be more perfect than crocheting your own shawl or afghan to cuddle under.
When it comes to food, cold meals cannot be cosy. I indulge in easy suppers and an earlier bedtime. A comforting vegetable stew and cornbread. Or, bean soup with white toast and butter. Foods I can eat from a bowl with a spoon. I plan ahead so that the cupboards are stocked and the freezer is full.
Hot chocolate, of course, is liquid love.
It is our duty to be cosy this time of year. We are obliged to shelter under the nearest duvet, settle in on our comfiest sofa or chair, and tuck into a hot cup of anything! Come up with your own ideas of little ways to cosy up your winter shelter and relish the warmth and contentment.
Story and Illustrations by Lucy M. Pritchett
P.S. You may also find shelter here Finding Shelter…At An Art Museum